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What is the Privilege Scheme?

The Privilege Scheme is our way of providing joined-up support for you when you use the Library. It is available to students who are registered with Birmingham Newman's Student Support services.

The Privilege Scheme is not available to external members, alumni members or SCONUL Access members of Birmingham Newman Library. If you are a member of staff and would like additional support from the Library, please contact us to discuss your needs.

What levels of support are available?

There are four membership categories in Privilege Scheme. The Library will give you membership of a category on the advice of Student Support, with whom you can discuss and decide your level of need. The Library does not assess you, and does not keep details about your medical conditions or disabilities.

Privilege Standard

Privilege Standard users get extended borrowing rights on our printed books. Privilege Standard loans are for 2 weeks and books will automatically renew for 2 weeks up to 13 times.

If the book you have borrowed is recalled to the Library, however, and stops automatically renewing, you will still only have one week to return it. Please see our borrowing information pages for the full details of our automatic renewals service.

Privilege with Bookshare

Privilege with Bookshare users get all of the benefits of Privilege Standard membership. In addition, we provide access to alternative formats for our printed books and e-books. This is done by:

  • Signing you up as a member of RNIB Bookshare - RNIB Bookshare provides a huge library of books in accessible formats that you can download in full or print without the usual limitations that e-book providers impose. The Library manages the scheme for Birmingham Newman students and staff.
  • Scanning chapters or books from our collection in an accessible format for use in your studies.

Privilege with Fetch & Proxy

Privilege with Fetch & Proxy users get all of the benefits of Privilege Standard membership. In addition, we can:

  • Get books from the shelves for you and place them on the Reservations shelf on level 1 for up to 48 hours for you to pick up.
  • Allow a named person to act on your behalf to borrow books and deal with any issues related to your Library account.

For our book fetching service, we will make books available for you as soon as possible, but it may take up to 24 hours at busy times. Therefore, we recommend that you contact us with your request before coming to the Library. When your books are on the reservation shelf ready for you to pick up, we will email you.

For proxy services, you must contact us in advance to tell us the name of the person who will be acting on your behalf. You may only have one named proxy at any time.

Privilege Complete

Privilege Complete users have access to the benefits of all the above services.

How can I access the Privilege Scheme?

To join the Privilege Scheme, you must register and have support set up with with Birmingham Newman University's Student Support services. You will normally automatically become a "Privilege Standard" member when you do this.

If you believe you are entitled to further support, you can discuss this with Student Support services and ask them to contact us to confirm which category of membership you are eligible for.

Please note: the Library cannot assess your membership for the Privilege Scheme or change your membership category without advice from Student Support services.

What if I don't qualify?

In very limited circumstances, e.g. for a short-term medical condition, we may be able to offer you extra support on a one-off or informal short-term basis. You can contact us, or ask at the Service Desk on level 1 if you need any assistance. Please be aware, however, that we will not be able to offer ongoing support without a referral from Student Support.

If you are a member of the Library and not eligible for the Privilege Scheme, you will still benefit from our standard services, which we have designed to be as fair and accessible as possible. You are welcome to use the study aids available at the Service Desk during staffed hours, or use the self-service assistive technology area on level 2, but we do ask that you share these facilities fairly and give priority to those with greater needs.

You can also ask our Library Service Assistants to help you make the most of self-service facilities, such as the combined printers, photocopiers and scanners, or our laptop loans service.

Last reviewed: 17 November 2023

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